I’ve noticed a trend in the last several years and it deals with the word that people use to describe how and where an application is hosted. Oftentimes, a customer will have two choices when buying a software package from a vendor: 1) Have the vendor host it (cloud), or 2) the company will host it themselves at their own facility.
The latter option, when the company chooses to host the application themselves, is where the confusion comes in. I have heard many vendors, co-workers and industry leaders refer to this option as “On-Premise.” This term goes against what I’ve understood as the basic definition of what a “premise” is. I thought it was odd but I assumed it was a mistake, either on my end or the speakers. However, I’ve started to hear it so much lately from people I respect that I started to question my own sanity.
After much deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m right and everyone else is wrong.
Premise: an idea or theory on which a statement or action is based
Premises: a house or other building and the land on which it is built
In other words, a “premise” is an idea and a “premises” is a place.
The correct usage to describe an application hosting choice is “on-premises” because it is basically saying, it will be hosted at our facility, building or datacenter. I’ve done a completely non-scientific poll of about 15 people I work with and I think I’ve identified the top reasons for the confusion:
1) They have heard “on-premise” from a vendor or trusted individual, and just assumed that’s what it is.
2) Know the definition of “premises,” as a place, but mispronounce it.
3) Know it’s “on-premises” but hear it incorrectly so much, they don’t want to seem stupid.
So, there you have it! Let’s start with correcting vendors. Grammar matters.